April 14, 2008|DANIEL VASQUEZ COMMENTARY
Note to Florida car dealers and legislators: Car buyers are fed up with banker fees.
That’s the basal band conveyed by readers aback I wrote about the added accuse frequently tacked assimilate the final bulk by new and acclimated car dealers. Many said the fees are as ambagious as they are costly.
Dealer fees are answerable by dealers who say the money covers aggregate from car alertness to paperwork.
Of 50 readers who contacted me, the cutting majority accept banker fees deceptively add up to $1,000 to banker profit. Many said the accuse are not appear until it’s time to assurance a contract. Some didn’t alike apperceive they’d paid a fee until they arrested their bill of sale. Others said they were falsely led to accept every banker accuse such fees as appropriate by law.
“I anticipate banker fees care to be banned,” said Tom Tuso, a retired allowance industry advocate from Boca Raton.
Tuso said he bought a acclimated Cadillac Seville a brace of months ago from a banker in West Palm Beach. The price: $5,000. The banker fee: Added than $500.
“It’s a ripoff for the customer,” said Tuso. “If the fee can’t be banned, again it care to be set at a best and should be acutely declared on the window sticker, not aloof the final paperwork that gets ashore in advanced of the chump already they’ve already fabricated a deal.”
Good points, Mr. Tuso.
Interestingly, a contempo Florida Senate board ysis begin that not all dealers allegation these fees, but amid those who do, the bulk ranges from $189 to $699. One clairvoyant told me he paid $999.
Linda Cintron, an autogenous artist from Tamarac, paid a $679 banker fee for a $6,000 acclimated Cadillac Catera.
“I didn’t apperceive that it was an added allegation until afterwards we had acclimatized on a price,” said Cintron. “The salesman didn’t point it out to me.” She said she came beyond the fee as she looked over the final contract, admitting accepting spent two hours negotiating price.
“I acquainted like I got the bulk bottomward alone to accept that bulk put aback in the end,” Cintron said. “It’s like I paid abounding price.”
Jay Shapp, a retired computer artisan from Boca Raton, absolved abroad from a Jeep dealership because of a $699 banker fee. He said he spent three hours ering over the bulk on a new Patriot afore he acquainted he had a acceptable deal. Again, he was afraid by the added fee back he looked over the final contract.
“I was candidly accessible to buy the car,” said Shapp, abacus that he absolved abroad from the Patriot accord because of the fee. “I fabricated it bright to them that was the case.”
I acclaim you, Mr. Shapp.
Some readers asked to be directed to dealers who do not allegation banker fees.
Earl Stewart, a Toyota banker in North Palm Beach, is aggravating to get Florida legislators to ban the fees or at atomic crave that they are acquaint on window stickers and capped at the aforementioned bulk for all dealers. Tuso, Cintron and Shapp all accede with him, as do best of the readers I’ve heard from.
Stewart says he has heard from two legislators, Sens. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, and Jeff Aer, R-North Palm Beach, who accept apprenticed abutment for new regulations on banker fees.
“Possible new laws acclamation the banker fee are advanced bigger than I expected,” Stewart said aftermost week.
Thanks for the update, Mr. Stewart.
If anyone should booty acclaim for allowance to argue legislators it’s you, forth with consumers such as Tuso, Cintron and Shapp and the growing choir delivery antipathy for banker fees.
Daniel Vasquez can be accomplished at [email protected], or 954-356-4219, or 561-243-6600, ext. 4219. To see added columns from Daniel Vasquez, go to sun-sentinel.com/vasquez.
Save on a new car
When you appointment a car dealership to buy, ask: Do you allegation a dealer’s fee? If so, how much? If a banker fee is charged, ask the bulk to be subtracted from the bulk afore you accomplish a deal.
Ignore the sticker price: Negotiate a bulk up from the balance price, not bottomward from the sticker price. Consumer Reports’ New Car Bulk Service can account banker amount for a $14 fee (information which can save buyers an boilerplate of $1,900). Web sites such as AutoSite.com, Edmunds.com, and Intellichoice.com additionally can help.
Shop for costs afore you boutique for a car: Compare absorption ante at banks, acclaim unions, thrifts and dealerships. Accumulate accommodation lengths to a minimum.
Haggle: Dealers focus on how abundant you can afford. Instead, adviser the agreement one account at a time. Lock in a auction bulk afore discussing trade-in or costs options.
Do your research: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( www.safercar.gov) provides advice on recalls, defects and rollover histories, as able-bodied as blast tests as far as 1990.
Check out Daniel Vasquez’s Consumer Talk blog for means to absorb your money wisely, use technology to accomplish activity easier and accumulate your ancestors safe and advantageous at blogs.Sun-Sentinel.com/consumerblog
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